TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar was at it again on Tuesday evening, as the Blue Jays' centre fielder came up with another tremendous catch in the top of the fourth inning of the Blue Jays' 4-2 loss to the D-backs.Already having scored a pair of runs in the inning, Pillar jumped into
TORONTO -- Kevin Pillar was at it again on Tuesday evening, as the Blue Jays' centre fielder came up with another tremendous catch in the top of the fourth inning of the Blue Jays' 4-2 loss to the D-backs.
Already having scored a pair of runs in the inning, Pillar jumped into the the centre-field wall to rob Arizona left fielder Peter O'Brien of extra bases. The 27-year-old, who was the recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player Award in 2015, timed his leap in a full sprint and landed on his back after making the catch.
"That's the toughest play for any outfielder, especially centre fielders, when the ball is hit right at you," Pillar said. "You've got to make a decision pretty quick. I made a bad decision on a similar ball in Detroit. It's just one of those balls where you've got to get out there and either have someone hit you fungos and line drives, or you take the ball off the bat in BP and put yourself in position where that ball is hit right at you, because it's a tough play to make."
According to Statcast™, Pillar covered 72 feet to reach O'Brien's fly ball, with a route efficiency of 97.8 percent and a top speed of 17 mph.
Pillar has been no stranger to making spectacular catches all season, entering Tuesday's game leading all outfielders in Ultimate Zone Rating and third in Defensive Runs Saved.
"I constantly look at my surroundings," Pillar said. "Wherever I'm playing, I have a pretty good idea of how far I'm playing and how much room I have, but in the moment, it's about going to get the ball and whatever happens after, happens."
The Cal State-Dominguez Hills product also provided the Blue Jays with their only offense on the night, hitting a two-run double to get Toronto back in the game. Despite feeling a bit of soreness in his elbow after making the play, Pillar had no inclination to change anything.
"They asked me to take some practice swings," Pillar said. "I told them I would take them in the box and be ready to go. It was just hot. It's like a bruise."
Having a front-row seat to all of Pillar's plays from inside the dugout, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons expressed his sentiments about seeing another highlight-worthy grab from his outfielder.
"He's a tough kid," Gibbons said. "I can't say you get bored watching it, because that's all he does. You expect [him] to make the play on any ball that's hit out there. He's that good, and he does that often. But he's got a hard head, too. It's another great catch."
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.